GRAND ISLE, La. (WVUE) - Officials are asking for all marine operators to assist in the search for at least a dozen workers after a lift boat capsized off the coast of Port Fourchon on Tuesday afternoon.
Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson says the United States Coast Guard is asking for any and all help from boat operators in the area.
Chaisson says he is worried about the potential for more bad weather expected on Wednesday but says they will deal with that when the time comes.
“We are saturating the area with all of our available resources in the rescue mission and will continue to do so. Now we have rescued six survivors who were safely transferred to shore,” U.S. Coast Guard Captain Will Watson said in a press conference Wednesday morning. “Unfortunately, we have recovered one individual on the surface of the water and he is deceased and our search efforts continue for the remaining twelve. My Heart and the collective heart of our team goes out to the families and to Seacor and we are giving it all we have.”
As of Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard says six people have been rescued. Chaisson says he believes 18 people in total were on board. A spokesperson for the USCG says one person died in the incident.
Coast Guard members rescued two people from the water. Multiple good Samaritan vessels rescued four people.
“You can’t sleep, you’re so worried,” Marion Tyler, the fiance of one of the missing crewmembers said Wednesday. “You have hope but you’re scared and you know you just have to keep [saying] ‘he’s coming in. They’re all coming in. They’re going to be okay. They’re sitting back there making jokes right now.’ That’s what we believe and that’s what’s going to happen. They’re all going to come home.”
Tyler says her fiance was not supposed to be on the vessel Tuesday but sacrificed a scheduled day off for a chance to make some more money. She plans on staying at Port Fourchon until she gets more news.
Governor John Bel Edwards tweeted out Wednesday morning, asking for prayers for those who remain missing and for those helping to rescue them.
“Over the course of the morning we’ve been getting so many calls for folks of the maritime industry who want to get involved,” Watson said. “It has been tremendous. They want to get involved with the effort and we want to those folks personally.”
The Coast Guard says they received a distress call from crew members aboard the Seacor Power at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13.
According to marine traffic information, the vessel left Port Fourchon around noon Tuesday afternoon.
Severe weather caught many at the energy dock in Grand Isle off-guard.
“We knew there was some weather coming, but it’s just a little white storm. A regular thing in the Gulf” Simon Bruce, a witness, says. “Next thing you know, I was sleeping in bed, I woke up because I was coming out of my bed, I was hitting the top of my bunk. I was like ‘what in the world?’”
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